All free tickets for Monday’s meeting at Musselburgh have been snapped up and racecourse boss Bill Farnsworth is expecting around 5000 punters for a fixture which has been underwritten by the track’s bookmakers.
“We had 3250 pairs of free tickets and they have all been taken,” said Farnsworth. “Some people may not turn up because of poor weather or other reasons, but we are certainly expecting around 5000 and are looking forward to a good day.
“And of course those who failed to get tickets can still turn up and pay to join in the fun,” he added.
Premier Choice can get punters off to a good start by carrying the colours of Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson and partner Jack Hanson to victory in the opening Archerfield We Play a Different Game Handicap (2.10).
The three-year-old cost 60,000 guineas and has yet to score in ten starts, but has been runner-up on three occasions, including over this course and distance at the last meeting here and he was also second over the minimum trip here in May. He is closely related to seven winners and has certainly shown enough ability to be fancied to open his winning account here.
His jockey, Danny Tudhope, has a 22 per cent strike rate on the seaside circuit this term and can complete a double on Desert Romance in the St Andrews Building Supplies Claiming Stakes (4.10). The six-year-old has been beaten 17 times since his last victory at Newcastle in the spring of last year, but his last two efforts have been encouraging.
He was denied a clear run on both occasions and should take this easily of recovering his best form. He was third in the valuable Zetland Gold Cup at Redcar last year and thought good enough to run the Cambridgeshire at Newmarket last autumn.
La Bacouetteuse has given rookie trainer Ian Jardine all five of his career wins with two of those victories coming on the East Lothian track. The gelding scored here in May and produced a strong late burst to win again at the last meeting 11 days ago. That was over a mile and a half and he steps up an extra two furlongs in the Brian & Beverley’s Wedding Day Celebration Handicap (3.10) but he won over this trip here in May and his two half brothers have both won over staying trips in France.
Yorkshire trainer Kevin Ryan is having a fine season with his juveniles and can take the William Hill Nursery (3.40) with Chasing Dreams.
The youngster cost 23,000 guineas at the spring breeze-up sales and was a promising fourth on her debut at Sandown before winning easily when a hot favourite at Catterick. She is the first foal of an unraced mare but comes from a decent speedy family.
Musselburgh selections: 2.10: Premier Choice; 3.10: La Bacouetteuse; 3.40: Chasing Dreams; 4.10: Desert Romance.